Season 2: The Sound of Music
Read the Director's Note
While in Austin Texas, Catherine and I went to a local production of The Sound of Music. We held hands during scenes with the von Trapp kids and passed each other tissues during Climb Every Mountain and Edelweiss. It became very clear to us that The Sound of Music would be our next production. Making the decision to tackle this timeless story has been ambitious, and nothing short of a challenging adventure.
The themes within The Sound of Music are powerfully communicated through the orchestration. This story shows us the power of music in connecting people, like when Maria meets the children and teaches them to sing (Do-Re-Mi). It moves us through the power of music to give us confidence, whether it be within ourselves (I Have Confidence) or in following a dream (Climb Every Mountain).
It also provides a gentle but necessary spotlight on music as resistance. Throughout the story, we are slowly introduced to the political climate that was Austria in 1938. When the Captain sings a deep-rooted, traditional, Austrian folk song (Edelweiss) in front of Austrians and Nazi Soldiers, the Austrians are reminded of their home that once was. This is his, and their, gentle act of resistance.
The scenes that lead up to this act of resistance also compel us to question our own belief systems.
Through this process, I have deeply leaned into the complicated, emotional decisions behind a family leaving home due to political unrest. I listened to a podcast that asked, “Would you really stand up for what you believe in, even if it meant losing everything?” … losing everything … This sentence hit me very deeply. Would I still stand up for something if it meant never seeing my family, friends, community - leaving my job, my neighbourhood, my home - behind?
It is easy to look at this production through the lens of Maria, her story arch of leaving the abbey, teaching children the power of music through play and imagination. Her story arch of falling in love with the Captain and foregoing becoming a nun.
What I ask of the audience is to broaden this story’s perspective to include the people around the von Trapp’s. To think about their friends, neighbours, and local shop owners. I purposefully included a bigger cast in our production. I wanted to ensure that when telling the story of this one family, we do not forget the people that surrounded them. The neighbours that made similar decisions to leave Austria, and the community that stayed behind.
My hope is we all reflect and remember that this storyline is not unique to 1938. Around the world today, there are many people watching their own countries change around them. Some of these changes may be subtle and slow, but others are rapid, are excruciating, are forcing people to make the brutal decisions whether to leave and lose everything they once knew.
Throughout this process and what will go well beyond it, my heart has been blessed with the sound of music. With gratitude to our own community, we hope you enjoy the performance.
Thank you to our Season 2 Sponsors!
Our second season could not have been possible without the support of:
Mihevc Consulting & Mediation
In honour of Dr. Rev Douglas Ross
Little Dragon Media
Long & McQuade
Nith Valley Organics
Alan Madras & Rebecca Cunningham
Thank you to our local photographer for capturing the magic of theatre an community. Check him out on instagram @ramyaridaphoto or via his website below!